Sunday, June 27, 2010

Random Sunday Thoughts

Why does it seem to be human nature to point out other people's weaknesses in an attempt to make ourselves look better? I had to stop myself from doing that one day this week. I wanted to call another manager at work to tattle about something a third manager had done. I was proud of myself for laying the phone down and not making the call.

I am hopeful about starting counseling this week. Hopeful, but also nervous. This will be a new counselor, but I'm still going to refer to her as Dr. Eve. This one grew up with an alcoholic in the house, so I'm thinking she may be a little better equipped to handle my codependent issues.

I keep having scary dreams. Last night I dreamt one of my friends was murdered. I was trying to solve the case and I was sitting having a conversation with the deceased, who was giving me leads. Then I was trying to find a company to hire that would come clean up the crime scene. It was gruesome, sad, frustrating and scary.

I feel very sorry for jealous people. I used to be very jealous, particularly after my first marriage. It's a crippling insecurity, really. You can quickly turn off people who care alot about you by thinking they may like someone else more than you. I've put that way behind me now, and I will never feel insecure like that again. I won't be a part of it, and I won't tolerate it from others. I know there is room in everyone's heart to love lots of people, and caring about one person does not mean you care less about another. My heart goes out to a friend of one of my readers today, as her marriage is about to end over crazy, mad jealousy. Quite frankly, I hope she makes it out safely.

Finally, a welcome to two new Detach followers. Sophie, I'm not sure I know you, but welcome! And a big shout out to TJ (I'm Just Waiting On A Friend, dated October 9, 2009). I hope you will find something interesting in here from time to time, and I always welcome your comments (as long as they agree with mine...I am codependent and need constant validation!).

Have a happy and healthy week, full of peace, Detach friends. Healthy Mind. Healthy Body.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Little Piggy Went To Market

I've started writing this entry five or six other times and could never get it the way I wanted so each time I aborted mission and deleted it. I'm going to try again tonight, because I feel this topic is extremely important.

I've subscribed to Rolling Stone magazine for about twenty years now, and have read lots of interesting articles. The magazine focuses mostly on music, but occasionally they will uncover a story that blows the roof off the sucka. If you don't believe that, just ask Gen. Stanley McChrystal. I will say that I do not always agree with the opinions of the magazine, as they can sometimes be a bit extreme.

So a few years ago, I read one of these really "big" expose' articles. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. But the whole time I kept thinking, "I'm going to wish I'd never read this". The article was about the pork industry in the United States; one Big Company in particular.

If you buy pork at the grocery store, chances are you are buying this company's meat. I know I did, for many, many years. Well, after I read the article I avoided this brand of pork for a couple of weeks, but then the memory started to fade and I just decided I would bury what I had read way back in the corner of my brain somewhere, and went right back to buying it. After all, it's readily available at my neighborhood grocery store, it's quite delicious and it's cheap. Cheap and Convenient; just the way we Americans like it, right?

Well recently I decided to revisit the article. I couldn't find the issue, so I wondered what would happen if I just googled the subject. Wow! A lot happened, that's what. Wikipedia even makes mention of it. You see, behind every pretty little plastic wrapped package of this company's meats are some dirty little secrets that insatiable American consumers, hungry for pork and starving for a bargain, really don't want to hear.

Smithfield has been fined millions of dollars by the EPA for polluting water sources with the tons and tons of fecal matter it dumps. They have come under fire for the gestation crates in which sows spend their entire lives, unable to stand up or even move. PETA is all over them, with numerous incidents of animal cruelty that are too sick to write about. One case being a group of ladies who said they relieved their frustrations and laughed as they tortured male piglets. But the serious enviornmental hazards caused by mass production and disposal of fecal matter are the biggest concerns. The statistics are jaw dropping.

I don't want to wake up tomorrow to find a severed hog's head in my bed, so I'm not taking it any further. Maybe you don't believe what I'm saying is true. After all, some of it is being challenged by the company, who says the Rolling Stone article contains some "half truths". But I challenge you to this; if you are going to eat the meat this, or any other company produces, take a few minutes to do some investigating. Go online and do the research yourself. You won't have any problem at all finding a plethora of information on the subject. If you want to read the stuff I'm too chicken to print, try this for starters, it will blow your mind:
(sorry, I can never figure out how to insert links in this blog, you'll have to copy and paste)

Let me say that I am not an animal activist. I like animals just fine, but I do believe that certain animals were put on this earth for human consumption. With that being said, I also believe farm animals should be raised in a clean, healthy environment, and treated humanely. I have enough stress in my life, I don't need to ingest the karma of some stressed out animal!

Now that I have found other sources, I have not purchased any commercially produced pork (or any other type of meat) in several months, and I will not waiver on this again. There are farmer's markets everywhere this time of year. No doubt, the meat is more expensive, but I know where it comes from. I've visited the farm, I know the farmers. Hell, I even know the pigs! And that's the whole point. The information is out there. There's a universe of it right at our fingertips, so take a minute to know where your food is coming from, no matter what farm or company produces it. Then, if you still want to buy it--more power to you; at least you know what you and your family are eating.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quotes I Like

"The statistics on sanity are that
one out of every four Americans is
suffering from some form of mental illness.
Think of your three best friends.
If they're okay, then it's you."

-Rita Mae Brown

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Job Description

Next week I will begin counseling again and I'm very excited. One thing I want to talk about is my job description. My job description was written by me, for me, and it's completely impossible to accomplish.

Works outside the home full time
Cooks a healthy, yet tasty dinner every night, making sure not to waste any of the fruits or vegetables in the fridge
Keeps the house clean
Gets plenty of sleep
Ensures children are happy and never bored by delivering them wherever they need/want to be in a timely manner
Makes sure children are not looking at inappropriate websites or hanging out with crack heads
Makes sure hair never has grey roots
Makes sure nails and toes are groomed and polished
Makes sure everyone's laundry is done to their specifications
Fits in quiet "me" time to relax, pray, and meditate
Spends quality time with husband and children
Sets aside time each day to excercise
Sets aside time each week to write in blog
Never wears frumpy clothes or unattractive sleepwear
Tackles at least one household project each week
Never forgets to keep in contact with friends and family members
Keeps car clean, vaccumed, and french fry free

Let me just say, this list goes on and on. And because my expectations for myself are so high, I will never, ever feel fulfilled. This is no way to live.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Tribute To The Dads In My Life

I grew up having a Dad who worked hard every day. He was home after work and my mother had dinner on the table. We ate together, every night. I can count on one (well, maybe two) hands the times I've seen my dad really, really mad. My Dad has bailed me out of more than one scrape. When my first marriage ended, he picked me up and dusted me off and helped me get back on my feet. He's watched my children after school since the day they started Kindergarten. Is my Dad perfect? No way. But he's been there for me, no matter what, every day of my life and I love him dearly.

My husband is also a wonderful father. He's a different generation of father than my own Dad, but that's okay. This is a different time. I'd be willing to bet he changed more diapers than I did, and because of our work schedules, he's always been the one to get the children up in the mornings, get them clean, fed and dressed, and off to day care or school. Is he perfect? No way. But the love he has for our children has never, ever wavered. And I truly admire his commitment and dedication to them.

No matter who you are, or how old you are, it's good to know you have a Dad that is there for you, no matter what. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Mom

It's so hot outside this weekend, that all one can really think about is plunging into a swimming pool, or drinking something icy cold. This took me back to the days when my parents would take me to the neighborhood ice cream parlor.

I must have acquired my love of chocolate from my mother, because Dad can't stand it. In fact, he's just not much on any type of sweets. But when I was a kid, and we went for ice cream he would order one. Usually two scoops of butter pecan on a cone, but sometimes just plain old vanilla. Personally, I always thought that was insane, because when it came to ice cream, I was going to have some form of chocolate. Usually chocolate almond. This brings me to my mom. In all the years we went to the ice cream shop, I'm pretty sure she always ordered the same thing....a large chocolate malt. Then we'd go sit out front of the shop and have our ice cream at one of the little tables. Even though I had my cone, I always wanted a sip of Mom's malt, and she always gave me one.

Even in her later years Mom never stopped craving the cold, creamy chocolate concoction. The neighborhood ice cream parlor closed down a long time ago, so a chocolate milkshake from McDonalds would usually have to suffice. Many times when Dad would be out running errands, Mom would call him and ask him to bring her one, and he always would.

Nowadays when I go for ice cream, I often order a chocolate malt of my own. I always smile when my daughter asks for a sip, and like my mom, I always give her one.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lower Level Two, Please

How can a person have depression AND anxiety problems? One minute I'm riddled with anxiety, feeling like my finger is stuck in an electrical outlet, with a thousand thoughts racing through my mind at once. The next, I don't care about anything. I'm so tired and depressed I just want to find a quiet place and go to sleep for a really long time.

I don't understand this.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Come On, Come On, Listen To The Money Talk

Due to an odd chain of events, tonight I'm thinking about money, and the affects it has on all of us.

I know people that have too little money, and are constantly stressed about bills, and keeping their financial heads above water.

I know people who make lots and lots of money, yet are constantly stressed about bills, and keeping their financial heads above water.

I know people who work themselves into the ground, physically and emotionally, to get money, then they are so stressed and exhausted that they can't enjoy it.

I know people who spend their entire lives thinking when they win the lottery, or gain an inheritance, all their problems will finally be solved.

I know people who believe they can use their money to control others.

I know people who have allowed an inheritance or material possesions to tear them away from their brothers and sisters forever.

I know people who think if they just buy enough "stuff", they'll somehow be happy.

Money is tricky. Most of us need it to survive, yet some of us allow it to destroy us.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm Back

So it's been a busy few days, with funeral visits and then an out of town trip to meet my new great-nephew. I enjoyed my visit to Minnesota, and wish I would have been able to drive all the way back home in the 2010 Camaro I rented. Would have been a lot more fun than flying. Anyway, I had a long weekend with no commitments, which was great. Sure, I was helping care for two small children, but I just didn't have that constant nagging that I needed to hurry, or there was someplace I needed to be. I realized this weekend that I do that alot. When I have to stay a little late at work I'm thinking I need to hurry home. When I'm at home I always think I need to be doing this, or doing that. It's hard to feel accomplished that way because no matter where I am, I'm always focused on where I feel I should be, and that makes me anxious.

I have to find a way to feel satisfied with myself, and what I'm able to accomplish. Life is too short to always be in a hurry.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Sad Evening

After a brief illness, my dear friend Marty-Marr lost his mother today. She was 87 years old and very blessed to have stayed active and healthy until not so long ago.

No matter how old you are, you're never ready to lose your mother. I still remember the night my mother died, and I came home and started walking around the neighborhood. I remember that sadness, and that feeling of being very alone. More alone than I'd ever felt in my life. Because no matter what differences you've had throughout the years, no matter what transpires, deep down you always know your mother has your back. When she's gone, you really realize you're on your own in this world.

Love you Marty-Marr, and I'm holding your close in my heart right now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Easy Target

There is a weakness about me that people with stronger personalities seem to sense. Maybe it's part of being codependent, but I feel that often times I am an easy target and therefore receive the brunt of people's anger, when really they aren't angry with me at all. They are frustrated with others, but don't have the desire to pick a fight with them, so they aim their anger towards the easiest target they can find. Someone who won't fight back. Someone who will later sit back, analyze the conversation, and somehow twist things around to rationalize they deserved it because they did or said something wrong.

I very much hate being this kind of person.

I know that the only way to avoid this is to focus on myself and be strong. When I'm strong, people treat me differently. Right now I'm weak, and I'm paying the price.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Feeling Restless

I've been feeling restless. I want to go some place for a family vacation this summer, but I don't know where. I want to do some remodeling on the house but I want to do too much, therefore don't know where to begin. My head feels full of ideas and I have some money, but it's like cleaning my closet; the task seems so overwhelming I just end up walking away, thinking I'll do it another day.

I'm going to be going out of town alone for a couple of days soon. Maybe I'll have some time to get some plans in place, who knows?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Get To Know Your Food - Part One

The more I educate myself, the more I realize how incredibly important it is to know where our food comes from; particularly our meat. Sure, you may have purchased it at Kroger, Walmart, or Pic-Pac, but how did it get there? What about the farm that produced it? How were the animals raised? Were they free to roam about or were they caged? Were the cattle raised on grass (the food they would naturally consume), or were they given grain? Were the animals injected with steroids, antibiotics, or growth hormones to get them to market faster, and will those drugs ultimately end up in the bodies of our families?

Well, I'm going to take the guess work out of it, at least for my family. A couple of weeks ago, we made the trek down the farm that produces most of the meat I now purchase, as well as a great deal of the vegetables. This is a photo of me hanging out with the pork I'll be consuming later this year. I saw the living conditions of the pigs, and learned that they often let themselves out of their pen and roam about the farm, wallowing in mud puddles, or seeing what they might want to get in to. I learned that they are not given antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones. They grow at their own pace and they have a good life. The piglets are born in a nice sized pen that is clean (well, as clean as a pig pen can be) and gives the mother and piglets room to move around. Sure, they ultimately end up on someone's dinner plate, but the life they have leading up to that time is happy, and more importantly...healthy.

I buy very little meat at the grocery store now, but when I do, I research the company that produces it. I no longer trust all those pretty little labels, with a photo of a barn and a happy sun rising up over it. I don't automatically trust the claim of "natural" and "farm fresh", and you shouldn't either.

Trust me, there are plenty of wonderful farm families that live near you, who would just love to get to know you, and introduce you to their farms. It's important to know what you are consuming, and I for one, am going to do my very best to get to know my food!
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